Good Morning and Hello :O)
I'm so excited to share my news... I have not written in sometime, for I have been on a treasure hunt and boy did I hit GOLD!!!
There were a couple of lessons I learned, again.. I say that because these are mistakes usually made by beginners in genealogy research, so I am humbled to say, I do not know as much as I thought I did... Never let yourself believe that you are smarter than you really are.
By adding a death date to a great aunt, I closed off her real life, but with some inspiration from Mel (she's really fun) and helpful, at least she was to me. I was inspired to look around and use more search criteria on familysearch.org and by doing so found that the Ann E Samuel who had died in 1904 was also born in 1903 and listed were her parents names which were not correct to my information.
At last, a new trail to blaze. Since this was Wisconsin and the first death certificate had been for a child, I took a chance on the young girl named Vida Longwell 1885-1898, whom no one knew anything about, there were no records, other than a headstone in my Samuel family plot. Her death certificate revealed her parents names, Ann E. Samuel & Arthur Longwell. Two mysteries solved in one. I know that my aunt married Arthur Longwell and that the little girl was their daughter. Now it makes sense why she is buried in her grandparents family plot.
Arthur was easy enough to track through census records up to 1920. Researching Ann & A
rthur's marriage lead me to the real brick wall breakthrough. It listed the parents of the groom and bride, but to my surprise, it listed her mother's maiden name!! I was astonished to say the least.
I had no record of Eliza J. Samuel before she married William R. Samuel. I had always assumed the "J" was a middle initial for Jane, but as I have learned by transcribing records in my own research as well as transcribing for others that,not always, but many, many times you will find that the middle initial is actually for their maiden names, as was Elizabeth Jones Samuel.
So, here I was with my ggg. grandmother's maiden name. Elizabeth Jones from Wales. Her headstone states she is born near Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales. I rushed in and added family members to quickly and made another mistake. Luckily, I found it very early on and was able to remove the added members and armed with whom to eliminate, l worked the records until I found the correct family. It was very exciting to be finally be able to fill in that line.
While pouring over records for these family members, re-examining details and notes is so very important. I still had a wall on my paternal great grandmother. Her son had told me her maiden name was Watson. The consistent odd spelling of her name kept eating away too. I knew she was born about 1890 in Mississippi, this is consistent on the records I do have. Researching Mississippi for Watson's prior to her birth was leading me nowhere. Details, even the smallest of details matter and here is where I had failed to do my work. On a 1925 Kansas state census, La Ona Samuel revels she came to Kansas from Oklahoma. Oklahoma? How, when, why did I miss this detail? No wonder I couldn't find them in Mississippi, they had gone west to Oklahoma. I was itching to find gold, and armed with the rest of my records, l was able to break through and found her with her family prior to her marriage. She was hiding in Oklahoma of all places!
The rush and influx of information since then has been immeasurable. I feel like they must have felt that faithful day on the river when giant rocks glistening in the bright sunlight tumbled out of the dirt... gold, I've found gold!